26 September 2011

Highway to Hell

    posted a couple of links in my Twitter feed last week and a vigorous discussion ensued. Because the controversy surrounding the following video clips deals with fundamental matters of ministry philosophy, pastoral propriety, the purity of the church, and the difference between true worship and "strange fire"—and since Twitter's 140-character limit simply isn't enough to let me even begin to say what I think needs to be said about this—I decided to take it up on the blog today.

First, watch this:



Then watch this:



And now read this:


I lost count of the number of people who wrote, Tweeted, or commented on my Facebook page last week in order to ask for a candid response to all of this. Here's a random sampling of my thoughts:
  • I don't know (nor do I care) if Perry Noble is "lying" in that second clip. He could indeed merely be making the argument that the first clip doesn't actually tell the full story. I wouldn't (and didn't) accuse him of lying.
  • But frankly, whether he lied or not strikes me as the most trivial of all the questions those two video clips raise. Stop and listen to what Perry Noble is saying! If he is indeed telling the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth, the admission he makes in that first video is every bit as ugly and outrageous as a lie. Here's a man who is supposed to be a shepherd to the flock of God, arrogantly boasting that he looks for ways to anger and offend Christians who are more conservative than he is. He hits on a particularly offensive idea. In this case, it's a stunt so carnal he doesn't even bother to argue that it has any redeeming spiritual value. Then he and his elders "pray" together to "seek the Lord's direction" about it—and decide to go ahead and do it? Yikes. If that doesn't offend every synapse in your brain, you must be devoid of love for Christ's church.
  • If James MacDonald thinks the big problem with Noble's statement was the "contradiction," and if he is more troubled by the critics' "tone" than he is by Perry Noble's swaggering self-congratulation, then MacDonald is not going to be a very helpful mentor to Perry Noble.
  • I'll say again: the public "mentoring" of bad-boy pastors by men who have earned a degree of respectability is a Really Bad Idea. If you're a famous pastor who truly wants to be a help to a young foul-mouthed narcissist rock-star pastor, it would be better to do it privately and withhold your public affirmations of the punk pastor until he gains enough maturity to actually meet the biblical requirements for eldership.
  • Several people on Twitter and Facebook suggested that the "Perry Noble Lied" accusation is the exact equivalent of the agnostic's charge that the New Testament contradicts itself. (James McDonald likewise strongly hinted at that argument, likening the two video clips above to "many passages of Scripture that need to be reconciled.") Seriously? Am I the only one who thinks it cheapens the authority of Scripture to suggest that a harmony of Matthew 28:10 and Luke 24:49 is a problem of the same order as the question of whether Perry Noble "sit[s] around trying to [tick] people off" or not?
  • All the word-play and energy that has been put into defending Noble feels like a bad caricature concocted to demonstrate everything that's wrong with postmodernism. Someone who raises no objection when a egomaniacal pastor boasts about looking for ways to offend and irritate other Christians has no moral ground to complain about the "tone" or biases of those who are offended. But the postmodernist spends hours attacking them anyway, exegeting the mischief-loving fellow's braggadocio, making useless arguments about words, in order to defend the honor of the guy who admitted that from the very start his main intention was to offend?
  • What we have here is proof of how pathological the cults of personality among young evangelicals have become.
  • Finally, for those working so hard to reconcile the Perry Noble of the Elephant Room with the self-satisfied scoundrel in the first video above, here's the question you need to ask yourselves: Once we have "reconciled" the statements made in the two clips, what kind of fruit are we left with?


Phil's signature

130 comments:

Griffin Gulledge said...

Boom goes the dynamite. This reaction will be classic.

i.e. HOW DARE YOU QUESTION PERRY HE BAPTIZED 9 MILLION PEOPLE LAST WEEK!

...or something to that effect.

NotYoursNow said...

Well said Phil. The answer to your question of what kind of fruit will we have left is the same bad fruit in Perry we had to begin with. Terribly Bad. "Bad root, bad fruit, good root, good fruit."

Rev Jason Hilliard said...

Exceptional response! And no you aren't the only one who was troubled by James' comparison of the issue with Noble to scripture reconciliation. Nor did it settle well with me that he likened Perry's desire to anger religious people with the offense that Jesus' words caused at times. Those comparisons aren't even in the same universe...

stonetoflesh said...

Wow, great observations/questions. Unfortunately, this isn't shocking anymore. Just last week, Ergun Caner, a man who has quite a few fans of his own, despite being in a place of authority and accountability, Tweeted: something like: "public displays of affection should not be allowed. Especially when the couple are ugly", to which I tweeted to him: something like: "Did an ordained minister of the Gospel just tweet that?" To which he DM'd me: "Absolutely. Yes I did. :)" I asked him: "Man, what about having to give an account for that before God? People are following you, and not just on twitter." Ergun: no response, blocks me from following him.

Paula said...

Very sad that Noble also gave "credit" to God for the idea, saying that while in prayer, asking God for an idea, the song Highway to Hell came up on his iPod. Don't pin that one on the Lord, Pal!

Mike Riccardi said...

One wonders why certain "pastors" choose to so tenaciously defend indignity and worldliness, yet not lift a finger to defend noble and honorable people/commitments/ideas. The only answer I can come up with is that these certain "pastors," wittingly or not, are simply making provision for their flesh's own lust for worldliness.

Peter said...

Perry Noble is pretty infamous in Anderson, SC. What Phil addresses here is one of the mildest incidents.

Have a look at what a local college teacher found: http://www.pajamapages.com/newspring-takes-desecration-to-the-next-level/ .

Then look how Perry Noble's church responded:
http://www.pajamapages.com/tag/harassment/ .

Lane Chaplin said...

At first I was of the persuasion that Perry was lying, but now I don't think he was. In the first clip, he says, "Every once in a while, I have this thought: We have to p*** off the religious people." In the second clip, he said, "We don't *just* get together and say, 'how can we p*** a lot of people off?'..." If he had said, "We don't get together and say, etc." then I think he would have lied. It's the same as if I were to say, "I blog to reach people for Jesus" in one clip and say in another, "I *just* don't blog to reach people for Jesus. I also blog because it keeps me in touch with others which helps edify me." Both don't contradict. It's just in the second, I added another facet of why I blog. I think it's the same in Perry's case.

Nonetheless, I think you hit the nail on the head, Phil, with what the real issue is. If we can see there is no contradiction, what is the fruit we're left with? It's bad fruit. If I made videos with the goal, "I just want to make Rick Warren mad," that is bad fruit. If my goal is to glorify and stand for the truth of Christ, though, and, in turn, it ends up making Rick Warren mad, well... so be it. It should never be our goal to outright "p***" people off. Jesus never had this goal. He just told it like it is, and making people upset was a byproduct.

As far as MacDonald, he's already made clear that he doesn't have a problem with Perry's language or intentions. In fact, he praises it: "Isn’t it awesome to know that Perry Noble wanted to confront and dethrone religiosity? (from his blog post)" It's a question, but still a rhetorical question, nonetheless. This is the real problem. It's sad to see James choose to go down this road.

The most ironic of all is that you have people running in these groups making videos about despising their "haters," but you also get these clips where you hear that their goal is to entice "haters to hate." They want their cake and eat it, too. Such is postmodernism...

Paula said...

McDonald's comment " "Isn’t it awesome to know that Perry Noble wanted to confront and dethrone religiosity? seems ignorant of the fact that not everyone who is offended by Noble's behavior is a Pharisee in need of discipline or correction.

At our former church (seeker sensitive model)I was always so sad to see the bewildered senior saints who didn't understand "Porn Sunday" and why they needed an accountability partner. The ones who covered their ears because the booming bass physically hurt them.

The older couple that Noble mocks in the video with the hat and the pastels really does exists and they don't use such gutter language and never in their wildest dreams thought they'd hear it in the pulpit. This is not "religiosity." It's perhaps a cultural difference, but to characterize them as somehow sinfully religious, as the Pharisees were, is disgusting.

Boanerghes said...

My question is how am I supposed to relate to James MacDowel and his ministry knowing that he endorses this kind of irreverent behavior?

what would you suggest Phil?

eric opsahl said...

1. I would also like your thoughts on how to view someone Like McDonald after this "blunder" of an endorsement. How far does Guilt by association go.
2. Have you ever posted on the topic of Ministry "Fruit". Most times you will hear folks defend the likes of Noble with comments about all the folks who are getting saved thru his Church. How do we reconcile the "potty" mouth antics of these pastors with the LARGE numbers of folks coming to Christ? If they are false converts than the discussion is over. If, on the other hand , they are in the faith?
3. Some comments on his blog suggested putting you in the mix for the next elephant room exchange. It would have been interesting to see your exchange with Perry. What think ye?

ronclick said...

Some recent thoughts of mine on this controversy, and I used to attend NewSpring, so I am aware of the controversies: the overarching issue is this: The pivotal moment in redemptive history, the culmination of the Christ’s ministry, is the Easter event wherein the sinless God-man bore the incomprehensible wrath of God reserved for sinful humanity so that those who repent and believe in Christ, because He arose and defeated death and now sits at the right hand of the Father, may be covered in His righteousness. That event is the holiest, gravest, moment in all eternity, in all the cosmos.

That a pastor should think it wise and good to have the praise and worship band play Highway to Hell, a song the exalts everything counter to Christ, during an Easter Sunday for any reason is beyond comprehension. Whether or not you believe Perry Noble lied regarding his conflicting rationals for performing that AC/DC song is almost peripheral in regards to the fact that the song was played at all.

The overarching issue behind all the controversy is one of errant methodology. It is the idea that church must be made attractive to those outside in order to draw them in so as to perhaps engage in a bit of ‘bait and switch” evangelism. When that door is opened, all things become permissible in church. All gravitas is lost and holy things are trampled.


As an aside, did you read about the man that died in a church sanctioned (GUTS Church) boxing match held in a parking lot?

Jared Miller said...

I have become ever-increasingly concerned about James MacDonald's own discernment, and therefore the biblical trustworthiness of his own messages, after hearing his own brash statements on how he deals with criticism--basically he gives it NO thought whatsoever. Don't consider any biblical grounds for it, don't pray to seek God's guidance about it, don't approach it with a humble spirit, simply ignore it.

With that view, no wonder James gets himself into the very odd position of defending someone about something that contains no sanctifying value whatsoever.

Of course, the fact that he's been loosely aligning with Perry and other popular seeker-driven pastors couldn't be the underlying reason that compelled him to rush to his defense, could it? Let's pray that James doesn't end up cutting off his own nose, as it were.

Frank Turk said...

If Phil is not available for the Elephant Room, I am. I stand by his comments.

Have we ever posted on the topic of ministry "fruit"? Wow. Try this link.

How do you deal with "James MacDonald's ministry"? Are you dealing with it now? If you don't belong to his local church, I guess I have no idea what you mean. Do you mean "should I stop listening to his podcasts for free?" I dunno: has his podcast ever made these mistakes?

Do you mean "Should I stop sending him money to disseminate free podcasts?" I dunno: do you think his podcast has hereby become a harbor for unacceptable teaching?

Do you mean "Should I now start blogging to parrot Phil's objection?" Re-read that question as I think it answers itself. Now that Phil has clarified for you the problem here, your job is probably not to rebroadcast it. How about if you start by praying for James MacDonald and Perry Noble so that the relationship doesn't result in James getting the urge to be more like Perry, and Perry can find someplace in his heart or heart of faith to see all sinners the same way -- including, but not limited to, but starting with, himself.

Tom Chantry said...

Look, I know this is not the point of this thread, but I'll come right out and say it, and Phil can rebuke me later:

Once we have "reconciled" the statements made in the two clips, what kind of fruit are we left with?

It is a rare megachurch pastor who is concerned about what kind of fruit is produced in their ministry. There are of course a few very noteworthy exceptions to this. But the Nobles and MacDonalds of this world are clearly unconcerned.

The few noteworthy exceptions I mentioned are not dazzled by the numbers pulled in by the ministries of other mega-pastors; they recognize that their own numbers success is an unaccountable mystery of God's kindness. The question is when the rest of the church will stop being dazzled. Just because Pastor X preaches to 50 people each week and Pastor Y preaches to 5,000 doesn't mean Pastor Y has anything to say that Pastor X ought to bother to listen to. And yes, the various vapid and fruitless mega-pastors will always support each other, because they share one and only one claim to greatness: the thousands who sit in their sanctuaries and buy their books. Still doesn't mean the rest of us need to be dazzled.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

eric opsahi said, "How do we reconcile the "potty" mouth antics of these pastors with the LARGE numbers of folks coming to Christ?

Ask yourself, are they coming to Christ, or are they adopting the theology of the "bad boy preachers?" Pretty clear, isn't it?

"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thes 2:10-12)."

Excellent article, Phil, but right now, I simply have no words for any of this, other then disgust. We are truly in the last days.

Thomas Louw said...

What worries me is that in the beginning of the ACTS29 movement I really loved them. All their efforts for evangelism and their church planting stuff were helpful. I really loved some of their stuff (low and behold I still have some their sermons on my drive)

Seeing NineMarks logo on the side also makes me ponder…

So many good things and so many bad things all mixed together.
I get it if he wants to react to today’s Judiasers but, the way he goes looking for an opportunity, then bragging about it by using words that my son will get spanked for, that is just losing your argument before it even begun.

DJP said...

Pure gold, worth repeatedly repeated repeating:

I'll say again: the public "mentoring" of bad-boy pastors by men who have earned a degree of respectability is a Really Bad Idea. If you're a famous pastor who truly wants to be a help to a young foul-mouthed narcissist rock-star pastor, it would be better to do it privately and withhold your public affirmations of the punk pastor until he gains enough maturity to actually meet the biblical requirements for eldership.

Clifford said...

This is really interesting to me. The irony of it all. Is irony the right word?

Perry Noble seeks to find a way to (I'll use James' words) [tick] off the religious people.

He succeeds.

He gets upsets at the response, or rather James McDonald gets upset at the response, but I think it's a fair bet that Perry did, too.

So, on Perry's part, mission accomplished. Why is he upset at the backlash? Isn't the backlash exactly what he wanted?

This brings me to my point (finally): guys like Noble want to be edgy, but can't handle the consequences of being edgy. There's a word for guys like that...wuss.

donsands said...

"Here's a man who is supposed to be a shepherd to the flock of God, arrogantly boasting.."-Phil J.

Thanks for the post on this guy. He needs to have his heart softened. I pray it shall happen. Not that we all don't need our Savior to work on our hearts, we all do. But to be so arrogant, and to have your boasting encouraged can be seriously hard heartedness.

"And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their BOASTED mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." 2 Cor. 11:12-15

The key word is boastful. This Perry is quite arrogant and boastful, don't you agree?

Paul says: "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." 2 Cor. 11:30

"But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."-Paul

Have a godly week in our Savior's grace and truth.

Tim Bertolet said...

There is a need to distinguish between Pharisees, weaker brother Christians and Christians who need more moral maturity.

So too often people assume that Christians who have more sensitive consciences are automatically more Pharisaical--therefore (the assumption goes) I can treat them like Jesus treated the Pharisees. It is simplistic and sophomoric revealing more about person making such generalizations.

It fails to recognize either (a) the person with the more sensitive conscience may be a "weaker" brother which would mean the Christian has an obligation to show more love and sensitivity and not 'look for ways to agitate them' or (b) the person with the more sensitive conscience may actually be right which would show that your own conscience needs more sanctification.

The fact that these two categories rarely fall in the purview of those who want to just anger the "Pharisees" is rather disturbing.

Mathew Sims said...

Amen Phil. I'm glad that someone with influence is stepping up to the plate on this. I think we focus on creating artificial unity instead obeying Scripture for the benefit and growth of the body which actually maintains the unity of the body (Eph 4). Great job guys!

John said...

"I don't know (nor do I care) if Perry Noble is "lying" in that second clip"

Good point!! It's too bad that many online discernment bloggers don't know how pick the right fight.

So what was the purpose of the whole "Elephant in the Room" thing anyway?

Tom said...

Phil writes: If you're a famous pastor who truly wants to be a help to a young foul-mouthed narcissist rock-star pastor, it would be better to do it privately and withhold your public affirmations of the punk pastor until he gains enough maturity to actually meet the biblical requirements for eldership.

Oh really? I thought how you helped young restless reformed pastors was to blast them publicly on your blog, make generalizations about them that they all like to drink, get tats, smoke cigars, watch UFC Smackdowns, wear fashionable clothings, etc..

You mean MacArthur was wrong, Phil?

Just Jules said...

Face in hands, "Church, church, church..."

Johnny Dialectic said...

I was struck the same way Paula 12:29 AM was.

Isn’t it awesome to know that Perry Noble wanted to confront and dethrone religiosity?

No, James MacDonald, it is not "awesome" when a pastor goes out of his way to demean and belittle someone (even a type) who came to Easter service "in her hat" to worship the Lord and gets claptrap thrown at her. It's that arrogant tone that got me. That's not love. In what way, Pastor MacDonald, is that anywhere near the type of love a shepherd should have for all his flock? Explain that, please.

I don't know anything about Noble or Furtick other than what I've been exposed to here, but it should not come as a surprise to MacDonald that it seems to many that there is a narcissism at work. It seems less about pastoring and more about finding ways (a la early Madonna) to shock and titillate a fan base to increase personal popularity.

Kiiroi said...

I was a student in the area who attended NS for some time until my graduation. I haven't kept up at all with what the church does since my departure. I do credit NS with bringing me back into the church after many years of absence during as a child/teen. I do feel like I learned a lot while there and still have many of the notes from the sermons attended. I never found the playing of introductory secular songs tasteful but I do admit to overlooking that because of my inability to relate/learn/connect with traditional churches.

What kind of fruit is the church (NS) producing? Well, then 2005-2009ish (my last semester in school didn't attend as regularly), I'd argue that the fruit was good. I saw a lot of different people in the church that transceded cultural boundaries and age groups. Seeing this and thinking about it puts me in a "Wow, really? That was happening?" moment. I followed the link someone else posted here in the comments and have read of some of the things that was going on. I can't recall if I was at Easter service or not that year but if I was I really wish I'd been more attuned to the playing of that song. I know by then though I'd gotten so use to the playing of some secular song before worship begins that I didn't part a passing thought much to my chagrin....Honestly, I do have faith that NS can become the church that it is meant to be and not the entity that I am reading of here today. Thanks for this blog BTW. I randomly found it last week (I can't even remember how I stumbled across it; one of my random procrastinations while at work). I've found a lot of things on here that cause the light to be shone on me about my thinking, and living and challenges galore.

donsands said...

"...I'd argue that the fruit was good. I saw a lot of different people in the church that transceded cultural boundaries and age groups."-Kiiroi

What is the Gospel that Perry preached, if you don't mind me asking? And did he teach through the whole Bible: OT & NT?

Eric said...

"I'd argue that the fruit was good. I saw a lot of different people in the church that transceded cultural boundaries and age groups."

Kiiroi,

I'll assume that you are measuring fruit by more than the example that you give of cultural and age diversity. Dont' make the modern day mistake of worshipping at the altar of diversity. Diversity is nothing in and of itself, and not really that difficult to attain. A wide variety of people are titillated by the same offerings, so gathering a diverse crowd is not particularly difficult or at all indicative of biblical ministerial success.

Eric said...

Nothing says "God-glorifying" like opening your worship with an anthem to the devil.

ronclick said...

My 3 to 4 years at NewSpring
http://ronclick.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/an-ecclesiastical-journey/

ronclick said...

My 3 to 4 years at NewSpring
http://ronclick.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/an-ecclesiastical-journey/

The Truth Speaker said...

I'm not a big Perry Noble fan, but I was a little thrown by your criticism of his "potty mouth". I mean he IS a fool, but this is what Jesus said about calling people names... Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.
Your criticism of Perry has breached God's standard of a potty mouth and you are in the wrong.

Solameanie said...

The evangelical ministry graveyard is filled with Noble types whose churches were weighed in the balance, found wanting, and their candlesticks were removed. And eventually, what they built came crashing down because it wasn't built on the foundation of Christ and His life-changing Gospel.

The topic is Noble etc, but the situation with Robert Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral is a pretty good illustration. The sad thing is that they're in bankruptcy, and Schuller seems to have learned nothing.

Solameanie said...

To clarify, it's sad that Schuller seems to have learned nothing, not that he's in bankruptcy. His theology is as bankrupt as his bank account.

donsands said...

"Your criticism of Perry has breached God's standard of a potty mouth and you are in the wrong."

We also need to try and turn a fool from his folly. I thank God for my brothers in Christ, and friends, who call me on my sometimes bad mouth, and other foolish things I do. Especially my incredible wife, who keeps me quite humble. She is very, very rarely the fool. And yet she needs God's grace to walk the walk in this dark devil overwhelmed age.

Rich Barcellos said...

According to the second clip (and you have to listen to the end and may have to turn up the volume), they did what they did, apparently, because they *felt* it was what God wanted them to do in the service. Either God wanted them to play the “Highway to Hell” song by AC/DC at a public worship service of their church or He didn't. Either they obeyed God or they didn’t. It could be that they *felt* He wanted them to play the AC/DC song though misinterpreted their *feelings*. Maybe God wanted them to play “Let there be Rock” by AC/DC (It has biblical allusions in it.) or another song (How about “Hells Bells” [There’s Bible in that one, too!] or “Rock ‘n Roll Damnation” [Biblical allusion again!]?). Maybe God wanted them to play “Two Tickets to Paradise” by Eddie Money instead (probably not offensive enough, so I *feel* that I must doubt this one). There are an almost endless number of possibilities. One possibility is that God has already told them what kind of songs to sing at public worship and that seeking Him for direction concerning whether or not “Highway to Hell” should be played is something He ought not to be sought for. This possibility has nothing to do with what we *feel* but everything to do with how God thinks and how He wants us to think and feel and act. And we know what God thinks in so far as God tells us. And God has told us what He thinks about public worship services of the church and what kinds of songs to sing in the Bible alone. I both think and feel that’s an important issue in this discussion.

Josh said...

Forgive me if this has already been said (I didn't read the above comments): The main expression of self-righteous religion ("religious people") is looking down on others/"treating others with contempt" (Luke 18:9). This is exactly what Noble does in these clips. It's just as horrendous to say, "Thank you God that I am not like this Pharisee" than it is to say, "Thank you God that I am not like this publican."

Rob said...

What pastor listens to AC/DC while working out? Talk about polluting the well-spring of the soul...

Jim said...

Disgusting …
… praying for guidance while listening to AC/DC? How stupid can you get?
… and we wonder why the world is calling Christians hypocrites …

God help us.

Just Jules said...

Jim:

I'm not wondering why "the world is calling Christians hypocrites". I think we all know why.

We are.

jules

BrettR said...

The fruit sounds like a sermon I heard yesterday: the parable of the sower turned into "be the best shallow soil you can be" (i.e. your best life now) which ends in shortcuts in line to the lake of fire, "...but did you see my cool sermonette intro video... it was kickin'!"

Did you know it's hard to preach with any authority from a stool and coffee table?

"Enuf of this meen spirted talk aobut fruit. i dont like ur tone."

Just needed to get that out so others don't have to.

Frank Turk said...

Poor "Tom" --

He wasn't BCC'd on any e-mails or invited to any phone calls, and now he's angry.

Next.

Adam said...

eric opsahi said, "How do we reconcile the "potty" mouth antics of these pastors with the LARGE numbers of folks coming to Christ?

Hey Eric... And which "Christ" is that? Perry's road is WIDE and it leads to nowhere good. It IS the "highway to Hell".

Mike Riccardi said...

Even if the "large numbers" of people are coming to Christ, the pragmatic argument still wouldn't be reason to approve or imitate his antics.

Kiiroi said...

@donsands the gospel that I heard preached during my time there was that we are saved by grace and not by our own works, that God is always good whether we agree with His will for our lives or not, and as such His will is not our own. He did preach from the old and new testaments. No, he didn't teach on prophetic teachings but he didn't just stick to the big names like Ruth, Esther, Job and Solomon. I remember learning about Rahab(sp?) while there. I didn't know she existed before then.

@Eric Yes those were just a few examples. I guess I mentioned those because these are things I look for in a church besides the unchained teaching of the Word of God. It's not the end all. I left a church earlier this summer that was diverse in age and culture but lacked biblical foundation and a preacher whose ego shown profusely in my eyes.

Also, if someone doesn't mind answering, what is seeker-sensitive? It's a term I've seen here and there but I don't know what it means. Actually, for this website I need a basic dictionary that breaks down the terms that are used heavily. I'm lost over in redneck atheism's comments....

Just Jules said...

Kiiroi:

Email me and I'd be happy to help you with terms.

jules@justjules.me

Kiiroi said...

@Eric I forgot to add that NS during my time there seemed to be very involved in the community ( I can't speak for satelite campuses). I wasn't able to participate in community events because of the lack of a car and being a student. They also had began a trip to Kenya sometime after I graduated. I hope no one here takes my sayings of NS as defense of their current course. I can't say that I agree. I am just paying acknowledgement to NS where it is due for reigniting my walk in Christ (Christian since I was a child) and challenging me in many ways (i.e. my then holier-than-thou attitude) to be humble.

donsands said...

"...we are saved by grace and not by our own works, that God is always good whether we agree with His will for our lives or not, and as such His will is not our own."-Kiiroi

If you were going to expand this, and explain what this means to you personally, what would you say my friend?

Rich Barcellos said...

http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2011/09/2-corinthians-667.php

Scott Barber said...

I think there is a big distinction between more conservative brothers and the "religious" people Perry had a heart to "piss off." Religious people are a blight to the church, Paul said that they should castrate themselves...which as far as "pissing off" goes is a bit further up the scale than just playing an AC/DC song during the service. We should all hope to piss off the religious in the way we live out our freedom in Christ.

Rich Barcellos said...

Just a thought. What conditions would have to be in place in order for a group of elders to seek the Lord concerning whether or not they should play Highway to Hell at an Easter service or any other worship service?

Call me what you may, but I hope I never find it necessary to pray that prayer. The way I see things now, both religious people and God would not be happy with such petitions.

Mark B. Hanson said...

Truth Speaker,

The term "potty mouth" is exactly correct - what do you think Perry's word "pi__" refers to?

I realize that in the context it is not a bathroom reference, but it is after all a word that originally described excretion (and is used that way in the KJV).

Eric said...

Scott,

Why are you so cavalier about the playing of an anthem to the devil to introduce the worship of our God? This song mocks God and His righteous judgmeent, shouts out "Hey satan, paid my dues" and refers to hell as the "promised land". That a minister of the Word would even consider getting his jollies by opening worship with such a song and you would be so dismissive about it is frankly hard to believe.

Tom Chantry said...

The way I see things now, both religious people and God would not be happy with such petitions.

Ah, my friend, but there's the rub! Who asks that question any more?

So much of this discussion has run along the lines of the incorrect question: was PN thinking of the reactions of genuine conservative believers or of that of hypocritical Pharisees when he chose that song?

The fact is, before he ever chose to play the song, he sinned. If his first thought in planning a service of "worship" was to provoke a reaction among genuine believers, he sinned. If it was to provoke a reaction among religious hypocrites, he sinned. If it had been to give honor to the Triune Majesty of God, well, he most likely would have come to another conclusion, wouldn't he?

Kiiroi said...

For me personally, (from what I've learned from the churches, bible studies, personal reflections) this means to me that I am a poor young sap. I am reduced to a guilt-filled puddle knowing how easy it is to say those words of what I learned but failing to live them out daily rather than a few days, hours even, a week.

I don't know how to discern God's will for my life other than the knowledge that He has a plan for my life. If someone were to ask me now if I am prepared to die my answer is no for two reasons. 1)I'm not ready b/c I don't want to stand before God with so much sin in my life (errant I know but I haven't reconciled myself to the truth that I know and speak easily concerning forgiveness; I don't know how; 2)I know God has a plan for my life but I don't feel that He has fulfilled His plan through me so I can't possibly die yet (errant? I think so....)

So to me those words are deliverance that I hope to obtain. Sorry if any of this leads off topic; not my intention.

Tom said...

Frank wrote: Poor "Tom" --

He wasn't BCC'd on any e-mails or invited to any phone calls, and now he's angry.

Next.


Yeah, if only that happened fo' real before the missives started flying...

Next, back at ya, buddy!

Rich Barcellos said...

The vertical question is THE question we should all be asking first. But, if one denies the RPW (or even distant, estranged cousins of it) then the vertical question will not hold the position it ought to and we may find ourselves praying for wisdom in the choice of AC/DC songs for our next Christmas service.

Scott Barber said...

Eric,

I was just thinking Highway to Hell should be renamed: Incurvatus in se (though I must admit to not liking AC/DC's music simply on a level of good musical taste). If you want an understanding of this Augustinian concept just read the lyrics, it captures it even better than My Way by old blue eyes Sinatra:

Season ticket on a one-way ride
Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride
Don't need reason, don't need rhyme
Ain't nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too
I'm on the highway to hell
No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me round
Hey Satan, payed my dues
Playing in a rocking band
Hey Momma, look at me
I'm on my way to the promised land
I'm on the highway to hell

Often we talk about hell and forget about how the hell of eternity spills over into our lives here (thinking about Lewis’ introduction to the Great Divorce). This song speak of exactly what Easter saved us from, an eternal turning in on ourselves begining even now.

Tom Chantry said...

Oh really? I thought how you helped young restless reformed pastors was to blast them publicly on your blog, make generalizations about them that they all like to drink, get tats, smoke cigars, watch UFC Smackdowns, wear fashionable clothings, etc..

You mean MacArthur was wrong, Phil?


I know we're not supposed to talk about Phil's pastor here, but I'm not starting it, either. You know what I love about Pastor MacArthur? I mean - really love - for all the minutia on which he and I might disagree? I love the fact that his first thought is not now he might help [fill-in-whatever-class-of-pastoral-malfeasance-you-wish] pastors, but rather how the large public ministries of miscreants affect the church. When the wolves invite the sheep into their dens for tea, the man's first thought isn't "How can I least offend those wolves?" You just have to like that in a shepherd.

Ian said...

Where is the sense of "this man is a pastor, chosen by God, and placed into a position where he is over a flock of God's elect. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and trust that, if there is impropriety, God will deal with him later". Who are we to judge another man's servant? Ultimately, it ends on this note - since when does the Creator of the universe need us to defend His honor?

Eric said...

Scott,

I'm not sure I'm tracking with your point. Are you trying to defend the use of such lyrics as somehow God-honoring and not trivializing and mocking God's righteous judgment of sin?

Tom Chantry said...

And, to get back to Phil's original point - it's a pity that among the mega-pastors of America there are far too few who care a fig for the church. There are far more MacDonalds who are too quick to defend anyone in the mega-clique and unwilling to break ranks for such little things as gospel, salvation, or the honor of God.

The inimitable Carl Truman's response to this article was linked earlier; interestingly in his earlier post today Truman asked, on a different but not unrelated issue, "Is it not time somebody of influence in such circles pointed that out?" It is this frustration, and the knowledge of Phil's position, which leads him to say, "And thanks to Phil Johnson for having the courage the blow the whistle on such wicked ugliness parading itself as the light of gospel hope."

So yes, please, Lord, give us more MacArthurs, and less MacDonalds!

Eric said...

Ian,

Please help everyone understand how we are to believe that Perry Noble is "chosen by God", when he fails to even meet the qualifications for elder, as Phil pointed out.

Scott Barber said...

Eric,

I see these lyrics as highly descriptive of a life literally on the "highway to hell", indeed even the casual tone of the lyrics adds to this image. This kind of image can be a valuable pedagogical tool. Paul quoted pagan poets too.

Tom Chantry said...

Scott, and had PN quoted those lyrics and commented on them, as Paul did with the Greeks, no one would have ever questioned him.

What Paul did not do was stage a production of Lysistrata in order to attract the Greeks to his message.

But, I know what most would say to that. Quoting the lyrics wouldn't be nearly as effective as playing the music. Right. Not as shocking. Not as attractive to the flesh. No, it would have been none of those things, but it would have at least been Pauline.

Eric said...

Scott,

"Paul quoted pagan poets too."

I should have known that card would come out - apparently it can be used to justify anything.

Just to be clear, in conclusion, can I take your answer to my question as an affirmative? Are you affirming that these lyrics are God-honoring and appropriate for worship of our God?

witness said...

Scott Barber said...

This kind of image can be a valuable pedagogical tool. Paul quoted pagan poets too.

Wow... that kind of logic can really lead you down some ugly paths. Paul may have quoted pagan poets... but he did not offer it up as worship

donsands said...

Scott,

"Paul said that they should castrate themselves.."

Paul also said he wished he could be accursed for the Jews.

This guy Perry, is arrogant, and if you can't see that. And the worse thing is those encouraging him to be arrogant. Sad, very sad. And if someone confronts Perry, then the same needs to be pissed off at the playing of "Highway to Hell".

This is crazy, but there's much in the Church that is crazy, isn't there.

Scott Barber said...

Eric and Tom.

Lyrics like all language derive value from thier context. Words apart from intent and from structure are not only valueless but meaningless as well. When AC/DC sang these words to glorify a certain sinful lifestyle, a real, living highway to hell, of course God was not glorfied. However, if these same lyrics are brought into a different intent and structure, for example a pastor using it illustratively, then of course it can honour God. The issue we are left with is intent. Do any of us know Perry’s true heart on the matter? Of course we do not. Which is why I find it so strange for people who have never met Perry to know his heart one way or the other. I believe in thinking the best of Christian brothers until I have reason to think the worst. Throwing people onto the highway to hell is something we Christians should do with tears and sweat and much time, knowing fully their heart, not as a gut-reation while we drink our afternoon coffee between checking our RSS feed and Twitter.

Ian said...

Eric,

First, He is a Christian, therefore a servant of God and not of you or me. God knows Perry Noble's intentions, actions, and the truth in his response. We do not.

Second, and I think more importantly, he, like any other pastor, is merely a man who has been placed into a position by the sovereign hand of God. Ask any pastor and they will tell you the same - they were chosen for that role by God through a unique blend of their skills and abilities that God has placed in them and they have been put into that role.

That stated, who is the ultimate judge of his authority to preach? Who is the judge of his audience, or his capabilities? Is Phil Johnson hold the authority to revoke his rights to preach the Gospel? God is his judge, and God is his master, not you, me, or anyone else. God will expand his ministry, limit it, or remove it depending on His sovereign will, not yours or mine. The very most you can hope for is to look at what he has done and choose not to do the same.

Now for application - When my son was 18-months old, he was climbing in his closet when he was supposed to be sleeping. He's a climber - it's what he does. When my wife came into the room to check on them he freaked out and fell off the dresser onto a cardboard box. His arm was broken and this is something that neither of us did to him, but what he had done to himself. I, however, became the target of threats and hatred because of the cast on his arm. Those who did not know me, or the situation that resulted in his broken arm, would openly accuse me of child abuse and insist that there is a separate level of Hell for people like me. They would not listen to reason, but stood arrogantly on their lofty opinion that I was in sin while they were perfectly fit to judge the whole situation. Are you going to stand in the place of God to judge his heart, intentions, and actions. If so, are you suited in perfect holiness to be the judge of this situation? None of us, not evn John MacArthur, knows the heart of Perry Noble or what really happened. All we know is what we see, and all we can do is to judge how we will respond. I choose to allow God to take care of this and to hope that if I ever do something like this that other Christians will allow God to judge me as well.

donsands said...

Kiiroi: "...this [Gospel] means to me that I am a poor young sap. I am reduced to a guilt-filled puddle knowing how easy it is to say those words of what I learned but failing to live them out daily rather than a few days, hours even, a week."

This is a wrong way to understand the Gospel my friend. The good news of Christ dying on the Cross, and 3 days later being risen from the dead is that He brought total forgiveness and righteousness to any sinner who trusts in Christ, and what He did. Jesus was the Lamb of God, who took away the sin of the world. And when on the Cross, just before He gave up His spirit into His Father's hands, Jesus said, "It is Finished!"

He fulfilled all righteousness, and he took away all our sin, for all those who believe in Him.

The Gospel is even deeper, and yet it is pure and simple as well. Please read this verse of Scripture and feel free to ask any question you may have concerning this truth from the lips of our Savior and Lord.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." John 5:24

Tom Chantry said...

Lyrics like all language derive value from thier context. Words apart from intent and from structure are not only valueless but meaningless as well. When AC/DC sang these words to glorify a certain sinful lifestyle, a real, living highway to hell, of course God was not glorfied. However, if these same lyrics are brought into a different intent and structure, for example a pastor using it illustratively, then of course it can honour God.

I agree completely. That's why PN read those lyrics instead of playing the song, like, in a portion of the service usually reserved for praise music...oh wait...

The issue we are left with is intent. Do any of us know Perry’s true heart on the matter? Of course we do not. Which is why I find it so strange for people who have never met Perry to know his heart one way or the other. I believe in thinking the best of Christian brothers until I have reason to think the worst. Throwing people onto the highway to hell is something we Christians should do with tears and sweat and much time, knowing fully their heart, not as a gut-reation while we drink our afternoon coffee between checking our RSS feed and Twitter.

I love how a guy makes two public statements about his purpose in doing something, people take those two statements, which appear to be at odds, but, in Christian charity, synthesize them, and then question whether that stated motive is pure, and then you show up and start talking about "reading hearts." That's brilliant, Ian. Simply brilliant. Try to follow the discussion before you comment next time.

Tom Chantry said...

EVERYONE who talks about "reading hearts" on this thread is utterly and entirely failing to comprehend the gist of the discussion.

Perry Noble said - on recording (!) - that when he planned a service of worship for his church, his motive was to "piss off" a certain group of people. To call into question whether or not that is the right way to plan worship has nothing - do you hear me? NOTHING! to do with reading the guy's heart. His critics are willing to take him at his word that this was part of his motive - are you not willing? I suppose you think he's a liar?

DJP said...

If I agree that it's impossible to read hearts, and then point out that this is why Phil's and others' careful discussion of his words and actions are so appropriate and so important, have I missed something crucial?

Jerry Wragg said...

Phil -
The antics of these so-called preachers don't offend as readily as in times past because they deal with personal sin in their own lives by re-casting God's commands in more friendly tones (which of course eases the tension or guilt they may have over stubborn sin-patterns).
The result is a new "church" environment where the lowest common spiritual character is deemed "normal" for believers (a clear violation of Phil. 3:17; 1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Eph. 5:1, etc.).
Anyone else found striving to "be holy...in all [their] behavior" (1 Pet.1:15) is quickly labeled "irrelevant", then marginalized because, after all, "no real Christian today lives like that"! The post-modern movement is really a trend that is exposing those who are losing their resolve to biblically strive, and have adopted secular ideas about “normal” Christian morality. We could say that it’s not really a “growth” movement at all---It’s a “stunted growth” movement…an atrophied church…a group made up of numerous undiscerning band-wagonites, a fair amount of discouraged, withering saints, and a majority of moral unbelievers.
When we come along and speak of the power, sufficiency, and relevance of holy scripture…it is an increasingly strange sound in their ears!

Eric said...

Ian,

One simple question for you: Why do you come here to judge and correct others for judging and correcting others?

Coram Deo said...

Nice to see a "big name" pick up on Perry (ig)Noble's antics.

Thanks for shedding much needed light on this spiritual cockroach, Phil.

In Christ,
CD

Ian said...

Mr. Chantry,

"Try to follow the discussion before you comment next time."

Thank you for reading my response though it appears that I wasn't being direct enough. You are not his judge. God is. You can choose to be pissed off at what he did, and that's fine, but you are not defending God. God does not need you to defend Him. He does not need Phil Johnson, or John MacArthur. God is GOD and He can defend Himself. If He is pissed off about it, He will either a) stop Perry Noble's ministry, or b) continue to allow it to progress. You have no authority in this matter.

"Perry Noble said - on recording (!) - that when he planned a service of worship for his church, his motive was to "piss off" a certain group of people. To call into question whether or not that is the right way to plan worship has nothing - do you hear me? NOTHING! to do with reading the guy's heart. His critics are willing to take him at his word that this was part of his motive - are you not willing? I suppose you think he's a liar?"

Two comments here: First, I see that he was successful. He pissed you off. Second, if I choose to go to Disney World with my family and when my mom asks why I am going I tell her that it's because I really want to see my kids have a blast, but when my friends ask me I tell them that it's because I can't wait to see how many times I can ride Expedition Everest before getting sick, am I a liar? There are two different reasons and both are accurate.

Perry Noble is a man who operates outside of the norm for conservative evangelical churches. It appears that, as a result, he occasionally takes a swipe at them. Can you say that you've never done the same? His arm just had a wider stroke and it got people talking about it.

For what it's worth, I assume you've heard the sermon that he gave after they played the song. How was it?

Tom Chantry said...

So, you just changed your mind about our "reading hearts"? Are you going to address that or just move on to new, off-point arguments?

Jerry Wragg said...

I'm amazed (though I shouldn't be) that defenders of Perry Noble think so highly of him and yet give no serious attention to the words of the sovereign Lord of the universe, Jesus Christ, when He said: "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt 12:34) - And "What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person" (Matt 15:18). Implication: Mr. Noble's own words betray a heart of bitterness against other believers for whom he holds disdain. At the very least, Noble is a very immature Christian who has no business shepherding the people of God. At worst, he's a pretender venting his rebellion in foolish rants under the banner of ministry.
Jesus' words do actually mean something!

Ian said...

Eric,

"One simple question for you: Why do you come here to judge and correct others for judging and correcting others?"

Great question. Since you responded to the first comment I posted, I know that you read it. All I asked was why a man who is a fellow Christian is being judged as unworthy of a post that God placed him into and why it appeared that people saw fit to defend God's honor. That's all. You said yourself that Phil Johnson has judged him and found him unworthy of a the role of pastor. Was that untrue? I hadn't realized that Phil Johnson had that authority. My mistake. I'll leave this to the professionals then.

donsands said...

"First, I see that he was successful."-Ian

So it's a good thing to be proud and arrogant and try to cause others to be angry? God wants Perry to do this?

What saith thou Ian?

Jerry Wragg said...

Ian -
Can you not see the error you're spilling?
Phil has no personal authority (nor does he claim any) to declare a man unfit for ministry. However, all Christians (including you) are bound to uphold the truth of Scripture. If the word of God clearly deliniates the character and skills required to hold the office of shepherd to the sheep (and it does!), then when a man, as a pattern of ministry behavior, violates those clearly stated qualifications, he is already declared by Scripture as unfit. The people of God are obligated to uphold what the Bible already makes plain.
Saying that Perry Noble is unfit as a pastor has never been about one person exercising illegitimate authority over another. It's about the authority of God as revealed in His word, which His people are commanded by Him (contrary to today's post-modern assumptions) to declare.

Barbara said...

Kiroii,

Please allow me to echo donsands response to you, and to add this beautiful jewel that was actually the first time anyone ever told me that while we were yet without strength, Christ died for the ungodly. It is out of Romans 4, most beautifully given to sinners like me and like you. It is called, "All of Grace" and it is found here: http://www.spurgeon.org/all_of_g.htm If you need a modern English copy and happen not to have the funds to get one, feel free to email me (address is in my profile) and I will make sure you get one. May God be with you, and Grace and Peace.

Ian said...

Before I go,

Tom,

"So, you just changed your mind about our "reading hearts"? Are you going to address that or just move on to new, off-point arguments?"

Sorry - I was responding to you before I responded to Eric.

Jerry,

"I'm amazed (though I shouldn't be) that defenders of Perry Noble think so highly of him and yet give no serious attention to the words of the sovereign Lord of the universe, Jesus Christ, when He said: "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt 12:34) - And "What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person" (Matt 15:18)"

Please don't misunderstand me - I'm not defending Perry Noble. I'd never do the same thing in my church if I were given the opportunity. The most relevant video we've used in any sermon was that of a rube-goldberg device used to show how each person has a role - some significant, some seemingly insignificant, but that all are necessary and used by God for the purpose of His Church on earth to bring the lost to Christ. I'm merely stating that it is not our role to stand over him as a judge. I listened to the sermon that Perry Noble preached after the song was sung and it was phenomenal. Most Christian churches in America could stand to hear that same sermon - it was a beautiful balance of the law and the Gospel with one uncomfortable story about a toddler in a mall, but it was, in the end, beautifully preached and very well done. Does that justify his use of the song? No. Do the two separate explanations show that he was a liar? Maybe. But since we don't know the truth of the matter, nor do we know his heart (see, I'm here again) on this, by that I mean that we don't know if it was his intention to lie or to share two separate reasons for using the song, we can't stand firmly on this. As fellow Christians, we can stand by him, and remind him that his influence is something that enables him to stand out a bit higher than the rest of us and as a result the things he says are going to be misconstrued and misunderstood much more quickly. We can place the best construction on this and believe him when he says that he did not lie, and trust that God will be the ultimate judge of the situation. That's all.

Btw, great quotes, but remember just a few chapters prior to that, Jesus, while discussing judging fellow Christians, stated, "For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.(Matthew 7:2 ESV)". We are to judge the actions of other Christians, and to, if necessary, point them back to Christ, but our ultimate goal is reconciliation, not division. As none of us here are able to speak with Pastor Perry directly on this matter, what is the point of telling one another our opinion on it?

Have a great night everyone!

Merrilee Stevenson said...

This place always rocks.

That was all I was going to say. But one little observation I had, was from the first video. In the first 40 seconds HE's making fun of ribbon dance performances (big holiday productions), and at the same time, talking about how he was essentially thinking of ways to top it. Ribbon performances are SO five years ago. We need to really do something BIG.

(I dread the thought of how to top Highway to Hell five years from now.)

Ian said...

I'd like to apologize for three things. First, I apologize for stating that I was leaving and not doing so. This will, however, be my last comment on this subject. Second, I want to apologize for stating that no one is allowed to judge anyone. That was untrue and I apologize for it. God has, as He always does, revealed to me my error and I want to make amends. Third, I apolozige for not reading or directly responding to anyone else who may have commented after me. As it is my goal to honor Christ with my actions and words, and since I do not plan on commenting on this thread any further, I merely am posting an observation that I had after my last post. If you feel slighted because I did not respond to you, I pray that you would have the grace to forgive me. All I am doing is posting at the top of the comment thread and closing this tab.

Now, by the grace of God, I was finishing up my reading for the day in Galatians and I came across Paul's rebuke of Peter when he was found to be in sin. Paul's response was directly to him, not through public letter (blog), nor was it just between him and Barnabas. His rebuke was accurate and firm, but in no way insinuated anything about his being fit for the service of Christ, and was instead to bring reconciliation to them as brothers and not division. While I am certainly no Paul, nor would I ever make that claim, can we all claim that our rebuke of this brother has been to his face? Have any of you called him directly and spoken with him about it, asking that he please explain it to you?

If you have, then I have no issue with you at all and I apologize for assuming that you had not and I look forward to your insight on this matter. If you have not, however, then what is the point of commenting on this any further?

Now, I promise, I bid you good night. Sleep well everyone.

Frank Turk said...

Tom --

So you're saying that Phil and Dr. MacArthur never, in the last 10 years, had any interaction with anyone who is considered "YRR", specifically about the antics which Dr. MacArthur has recently decried in his series of blog posts?

I happen to know you are factually wrong. That is: those letters exist. However, it benefits you to believe otherwise -- it allows you to trade the reputable for the unteachable.

Feel free to do as you will with that. I doubt it will be much.

donsands said...

"Paul's rebuke of Peter when he was found to be in sin."-Ian

Peter was an Apostle of Christ. He was still struggling with the law and grace. Paul was used by Jesus to help. Peter in his 2nd letter mentions Paul.

That aside, Phil is simply making know on the internet about a so-called pastor who is quite well known, and who is quite arrogant. Hopefully Perry will hear about this, and check it out and he can join in here, and hopefully repent. Others have. I won't name them.

Phil is a fine shepherd of our Savior. he is full of the Holy Ghost, and he speaks the truth in love. I pray perry will come and hear, and see his arrogance, and repent, and go to the Cross of our Lord, and seek the help of the Holy Spirit to become humble; to cloth himself with humility, and stop mocking others. And may we do the same. Amen.

Rich Barcellos said...

OK,I finally figured this out with the help of my sons. I played the clips for them and one of them concluded it was a joke, a clip from SNL or something like that. Good one, Phil. It worked. You padded your numbers.

bondservant4jesuschrist said...

He makes fun of the song, saying "Arise my love." Doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with that song. Something wrong with the Preacher wanting "Highway to Hell."

Tom said...

Frank writes: So you're saying that Phil and Dr. MacArthur never, in the last 10 years, had any interaction with anyone who is considered "YRR", specifically about the antics which Dr. MacArthur has recently decried in his series of blog posts?

Did he have any interaction with the people he linked to in his missives before he called them out?


Um, no.

Thanks for playing.

James S said...

Mary Elizabeth Tyler at 4:01AM, September 26th.
Everything she said was perfect, and it puts my take on this so well.

Love of the truth or pleasure in unrighteousness?
Love of the truth doesnt show it's fruit by arrogant boasting, that's for certain.

Frank Turk said...

Tom:

Well, I'm sure you know. You read all Dr. MacArthur's correspondence.

Phil Johnson said...

I actually DO read a lot of John MacArthur's correspondence, and Tom is making a false accusation. He's also about to get banned for violating the long-standing guidelines that govern the forum here.

Ronald Hongsermeier said...

dear phil,
i think at a fundamental level you are confusing what in my recollection some people describe as "shaking up religious people" and what you call "offend Christians who are more conservative than he is". perry, i think, and mark driscoll, i am sure, use the term "religious people" to refer to people who are trusting in their correct outer form of behavior rather than Christ alone for their salvation. trying to jolt such people out of their self-confident complacency is laudable, although i would not personally use the specific method, tools and historical description perry holds to in this case.
it seems to me that you are making a categorical error in your thinking about this instance of use of a "hook". while he specifically said that he felt led to use the song as a jolt to "religious people", you, feeling offended and disabused, applied it to yourself. you're not religious under his definition, are you?

donsands said...

"..he specifically said that he felt led to use the song as a jolt to "religious people""
Yep. He was mocking women who wear hats to church, and the way men dress. His arrogance is sinful my friend. Do you see it for what it plainly is?

eric opsahl said...

Ronald,
"while he specifically said that he felt led to use the song as a jolt to "religious people",

Help me understand what I am missing on my end. Perry didn't use the word "Jolt" he used another curse word (mild as it may be in comparison to other words). I can use the Word of God to "Jolt" Religious people as a warning. I would never characterize using the Word of God to "Piss" Religious people off.

If you watched the video, you did notice how he mocked a popular song "arise my love" and mocke some foks who dress up for the service?

Even though that song isn't Gods Word, it is a song lifting up Christ. So, after Perry makes that very clear and blunt statement about wanting to @&^**^%@#!^ religious people off and at the same time mocks a Christ centered song and mock those who dress up, I'm supposed to understand him to be "trying to jolt such people out of their self-confident complacency....."

If you are correct, I am a true knucklehead.

Stephen A said...

Wow,the yes men and women have spoken. Though Perry deserves no respect i cant understand your waste of time by filling these blogs discussing people like these. Do you not have precious christian lives to maintain? Is your christian existence so empty that you must spend hours on end tweetng and blogging and arguing and responding to things you can never fix. Since the beginning of the church people have complained non-stop woe is me how the church is slipping. Every generation says the same thing and yet that segment of people never goes away.You people venerate Spurgeon and his down grade thing. Guess what it changed nothing, his energies would have been much better spent elsewhere. The list goes on and on of great men who have stood against christian weakness and it has never changed anything.Wow if you people put this energy into christian acts you could change the world. Christianity spread on the backs of people acting like christians (backing up what they taught). Thats whats missing, sincere loving acts as we carry out our lives. Get off your computers and go do that.
By the way open letter guy, your open letters are a waste of everyones time and edify only yourself and the yes men of course.
I no longer associate myself with reformed thinking but read this blog from time to time for the thoughtful articles. No more though, what you do is empty and shallow. It causes more problems than it helps with. Your calvinists, not christians, i see that now.

NCH said...

"Wow if you people put this energy into christian acts you could change the world."

You mean, like preaching the unadulterated gospel to all the nations and watching out for those who pervert the truth and harm the flock of God? Acts like those?

"Christianity spread on the backs of people acting like christians (backing up what they taught)."

You mean like the blood of the martyrs who loved Christ more than their own lives and would not recant the faithful testimony of "Christ Alone"?

Words matter, Stephen A. Be careful how you use them.

donsands said...

Hey Stephen a Troll, how come you don't have a profile?

Tom Chantry said...

Well, now, see, PN has really done it. He managed to attract the attention of Phil Johnson and of Carl Truman all in the same week. Has anyone ever done that before? And with not one, but two Truman posts?

Perry Noble is hereby condemned to be simultaneously eviscerate by Johnson's logic and torched by Truman's wit. And to think he has nothing to defend himself with beyond that snotty, obnoxious teenager act of his!

Josh said...

Stephen A. -

Please, PLEASE tell me you realize the irony of your post.

You're trying to contend for the faith ... through a blog.

Paul's admonishment to Titus was to avoid FOOLISH controversies (3:9). Critiquing a prominent evangelical voice like James MacDonald for embracing someone like Noble is not a foolish controversy. It has serious ramifications. I agree that many discernment blogs violate Titus 3:9, but not all of them.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Stephen A. said: "Thats whats missing, sincere loving acts as we carry out our lives. GET OFF YOUR COMPUTERS AND GO DO THAT."

I hope your still reading along, Stephen. Do you have any idea how important the Internet has become for witnessing for Christ? You could ask Melissa Houdman at allaboutgod.org. I used to write answers for this ministry. Thousands of people, from literally ALL OVER THE WORLD, write in to ask questions about Christ. Gotquestions.org has a similar ministry going. My blog partner writes for both of these ministries, and that is how I got involved.

These ministries are starved for writers to answer people’s simple questions about God. They are literally inundated with questions and just do not have enough people to answer all the questions that come in on a daily basis. Are these people who seek answers over the Internet any less worthy? Absolutely not! Are they able to understand the gospel message over the Internet any better than if they heard it in person? No! Language is language no matter what the medium it is presented in. So you may want to rethink your position.

BTW, anyone interested in writing for either of these ministries, let me know, and I can pass your name along to Melissa. This is a great ministry for shut-ins, or for anyone who is a stay-at-home mom or dad.

They have an editor and usually only give questions that come in from men, to men. The same goes for questions from women. It is a great way to meet people from all over the world, and you will definitely make fast friends with many who accept Christ into their hearts.

The Damer said...

I love it when Perry says that Jesus told parables and that's the same thing as a modern rock song. Really... Wow. I believe him when he claims to be dumb. Not that I'm against rock music. Just using AC/DC in church.

thenface2face said...

"It is a rare megachurch pastor who is concerned about what kind of fruit is produced in their ministry. There are of course a few very noteworthy exceptions to this. But the Nobles and MacDonalds of this world are clearly unconcerned."

How did you make this determination, Tom? You don't make this clear. So it sounds a little like the kind of rhetoric that James MacDonald is decrying here, coming from those who

"write off preachers for anything they find offensive or discordant with their own sense of right and wrong. I have heard these folks referred to as discernmentalists. Probably a play on fundamentalists who became famous for rhetoric without rationale. When I see how they distort what I have written, disdain my record of ministry and deny my commitment to the Scriptures, I am reminded of the kind of mindless fear mongering I left behind. Thoughtful questioning, even criticism or sincere disagreement is welcomed. But harsh denunciation is what puts people in the camp of being religionists, unholy, unloving and possibly unsaved."

I am concerned for the direction of MacDonald's ministry -- his ministry has borne great fruit in the life of our family. But I pray for him, and believe the best about him. And I want to do the same for you.

mwhenry said...

Thank you Mr. Johnson for some God honoring commentary, and not just throwing an "open letter" at us.

Tom Chantry said...

Noble's ministry has a long record, and his hatred for the church speaks for itself.

As for MacDonald, I know his ministry, and I know its fruits, and I am not fooled.

Rich Barcellos said...

Trueman on Jakes and MacDonald and Nicene Christianity here:

http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2011/09/is-nicene-christianity-that-im.php

thenface2face said...

Not a helpful answer.

Show the words/actions -- the facts!--clearly, or it is slander to continue to assert such a charge about a brother.

Tom Chantry said...

Well, thenface2face, why bother to go outside this comment thread?

1. Perry Noble's hatred for the church, particularly his abhorrence of his own people, is well documented. But when he announces that he plans worship services around anthems to the devil specifically in order to anger them, James MacDonald says, "I LOVE PERRY NOBLE. He is a long-suffering servant of Christ."

2. So what if TD Jakes hides behind the classic language used by modalist heretics for ages? So what if he denies the fundamental doctrine of Trinity? Macdonald's associate pastor (and eldest son) rebukes the doubters: "The idea that the best way forward for the followers of Jesus lies not in crouching behind walls of disagreement over issues of little importance, but in partnership with everyone who agrees about the biblical Gospel." Those of us who don't agree can go back to the "kiddie pool." What does Luke's daddy think of that? "Hey, if you’re fired up about the next Elephant Room (I know I am!), this is only going to stoke you even more."

You may well think that his ministry is going in a good direction, but you really ought to take him at his word that he hasn't changed: "If a brother believes the Bible and preaches the gospel, I delight in that relationship as far as agreement can allow it to go and benefit greatly while trying also to influence."

So do I stand by my statement that he doesn't care about the quality of fruit produced by his ministry? You bet I do!

Tom Chantry said...

Incidentally, since I know how the above comment will be read by some, let me make clear that I do not hold to the "doctrine" of secondary separation. Read the links. I'm citing specific statements about specific men in specific particulars - one a heretic by any classic definition and the other a blight on the church and - to use Phil's apt words - someone who doesn't yet meet the minimal biblical requirement for eldership. Don't you agree that MacDonald's arrogant, spiteful dismissal of all who would reject such men does indeed suggest that once a "preacher" is in the mega-club, he couldn't care less about anything else that "preacher" does or says? And doesn't that suggest that the only thing that matters about fruit in his mind is its numbers?

donsands said...

Hey Tom, the Elephant Room looks like a good thing, right? I haven't time to watch right now, but it looks like a way to expose the false doctrines, and false pastors in the Body of Christ.

Tom Chantry said...

Don Sands, I really wish so, but read the promotional material:

"The Elephant Room is more than an event. It is the outgrowth of an idea. The idea that the best way forward for the followers of Jesus lies not in crouching behind walls of disagreement over issues of little importance, but in partnership with everyone who agrees about the biblical Gospel. However, a rally to unite where there is so much division is not for those who prefer the kiddie pool. A true unity cannot be fashioned in pretense or denial of truth. Men must do what men have always done, we must push and prod and challenge and sharpen each other’s beliefs and methods. No one has a corner on the truth. We must all be learners.

What if we created a new ‘tribe?’ A tribe based on being humble enough to listen and reconsider what the Scriptures actually assert. A tribe that holds the essential tenets of the faith with a ferocious intensity and is open handed with everything else. Maybe, together, we can create a new center?"

So, traditionally heretical formulations of the triune nature of God are not "essential tenets of the faith"? Suddenly Nicene Christianity falls under the heading of "everything else"? What exactly is the "new center" they hope to "create"?

donsands said...

I suppose this might be a whole other post from TeamPyro Tom. Don't want to take this too far, but, with people like Matt Chandler, and Mark Dever, and some others, I have to think the "biblical Gospel" will be proclaimed and unperverted, in love and humility with bolldness. I hope so any way.
I have to admit there are times when I don't speak as boldly as I should. I pray that we would be bold, and full of grace and the Holy Spirit to not compromise the truth, and yet not be self-righteous either. Amen.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Mark Dever is getting involved with this Elephant Room 2 enterprise with the likes of TD Jakes???

I'm speechless!

Tom Chantry said...

As of right now, the Elephant Room discussion consists of James "Not-an-Important-Issue" Macdonald, Mark "It's-OK-for-Me-to-Be-Here-Jesus-Told-Me" Driscoll, Mark "How-Did-I-Get-into-This?" Dever, T.D. "Modalism-Is-So-Hip" Jakes, Jack "I'm-So-Wise-I-Made-Ergun-Caner-Famous" Graham, and of course, Steven "Just-Hatin-on-the-Haters" Furtick. Dever's gonna have his hands full.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Thanks, Tom. I'm wondering just how far we can take this guilt by association?

"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds (2 Jo 1:10-11)."

I wish someone would do an article on this!!!

Tom Chantry said...

Listen, Mary Elizabeth, I'm not making a guilt by association argument here. I don't hold it against Dever that he's there; provided he speaks the truth. I just want to know whether Pastor MacDonald agrees with his son that Nicene orthodoxy is an issue of little importance. You see, words matter more even than our associations, and if that is what both MacDonalds think, then it is less surprising that the elder MacDonald would give cover to Perry Noble when he decides to go to war against the church.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

I didn't mean to imply that you were making this an issue. Sorry if you took it that way. :)

This is just something that I have often wondered about. That is why I would like someone to write an article about it, to help bring some clarity to it. I certainly don't have the answer, and I am hoping someone much wiser, would.

sunamijim said...

The motive of "pissing off the religious people" just seems so arrogant to me. When Pastors try to emulate what Jesus did without the perfect authority and humility that coexisted in him, foolishness results. Noble seems to be seeking attention for himself, not Jesus. It's working.

thenface2face said...

Tom.

My computer is now demonically possessed, and is refusing to let me post on this blog, so I have borrowed a friend's, and ask you to follow the link to my response: http://thenface2face.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/at-it-again-with-pyros-because-of-an-elephant-in-the-room/

Diggs said...

I do not disagree with what you say but my question is, if Perry is a brother in Christ is it biblical for you to call him a scoundrel. Is that not along the lines of calling your brother a fool in John.

Diggs said...

My bad, I meant Mathew. Want to reiterate, I am not a fan of Perry.

donsands said...

"...if Perry is a brother in Christ is it biblical for you to call him a scoundrel."

Scoundrel: immoral person.

Perry is very arrogant in all the videos I've seen him. And the worse part of it is when the people there emcourage him, and he eats it up. He likes saying he doesn't give a hoot about any body. Arrogant. Man.

He needs to repent, if he is a Christian. He needs to get out of the pulpit for sure. He may even need to be quickened by our God and Savior.

have a great Lord's day!

mikeb said...

If you had the time to read up on it, the way Noble's staff crushed a local family that dared to critique his ministry would sadden you. To use your influence in a town to keep someone from adopting a child, and at the very last minute, disgusting:

http://slaughteringthesheep.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/perry-nobles-staff-silencing-critics-with-intimidation/

Dave said...

I had never heard of Perry Noble, however, while traveling a few years ago I had heard James MacDonald give a powerful message on repentance. Has something changed? Repent from what?

Unknown said...

What does the group feel about Dr. Robert M Price's view that Christ was not a historical figure. I think it has some merit.

Mark Robn said...

Hey Perry Noble and other loonies, here's how how to really make people angry. (or, "p-s" people off)

Instead of Playing the "Highway to Hell", start Preaching the One Way to Heaven!